Kansas Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will be targeting seat belt usage.

Beginning Feb. 24 through March 7, the Kansas Highway Patrol will join other Kansas law enforcement to stop what has been an epidemic for the past several years.

In 2012, 43 teens lost their lives due to car crashes in Kansas. Seventy-four percent of those teens were not properly restrained.

In an effort to change this trend, law enforcement across Kansas will be extra-vigilant when patrolling around schools. For more than 20 years, officers have educated and warned passengers and drivers regarding the importance of using restraints while in their vehicles.

There should be no surprises when it comes to this enforcement effort. Officers will issue citations to any individual who refuses to obey the traffic laws, whether it is for speeding, texting, or failing to buckle up. Officers will be present in school zones during this enforcement period.

Master Trooper Mark Crump says, “Even one teen death is unacceptable. Please slow down, put the phone away or turn it off, and always buckle up.”